THE Government has backed planners who rejected proposals to use a Grade I listed building for weddings.
Businessman Robin Macdonald appealed against Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s refusal to allow him to use Caverswall Castle for wedding events with guest accommodation and to build a 42-space car park.
But after a five-day inquiry last month (November, 2010), the Planning Inspectorate ruled on Thursday, December 23rd that the council was right to put a stop to the use, which had been going on in varying degrees for around four years.
Inspector John Gray concluded that the proposed car park would be inappropriate development in the green belt. It would also harm the setting of the listed building and fail to preserve the character of Caverswall Conservation Area.
Mr Gray found that the proposal would disturb the peace and quiet of neighbours by creating noise that could not be kept down to acceptable levels through design or planning conditions.
Cllr Edwin Wain, portfolio holder for planning, said: “The inspector’s findings vindicate our view that there were overwhelming planning objections to the proposed use.
“We’re supportive of the commercial use of listed buildings, as long as it can be achieved without harming the countryside, the setting of the building in question, and the amenity of people living nearby. The inspector was in no doubt that it would have been impossible to satisfy these criteria where Caverswall Castle was concerned”, he stressed.